Did You Know?
...it took 2 years for the 5 corners gas station lawsuit to be resolved? The legal system was a last resort for Save Main - after countless letters, meetings, public comments, and reams of research. It is a slow way to resolve an issue. We are patient.
Here's where we are. Our case is moving ahead into litigation on at least two of the counts outlined in the suit. These counts relate directly to the significant breach in the Village’s zoning code and our resulting assertion that the Apex 400 project should not have been approved. That approval substantially turns away from our own zoning code and decades of planning, changing the zoning code for height and bulk in our downtown's core retail area. Because of our concern over the immediate and long-term implications of the Board’s decision to approve Apex 400, we are prepared to go the distance.
Our case has moved into the discovery phase. The next court date is April 16; the trial date has not yet been set. We will keep you updated as further developments occur.
Discovery is expensive. If you are able to help fund our legal efforts, please go to: https://www.gofundme.com/
Patience is a virtue.
it took 2 years for the 5 Corners gas station lawsuit to be resolved? And hours and hours of work by dedicated Glen Ellyn residents. The legal system was a last resort for Save Main--after countless letters and emails were written, meetings attended, public comments delivered, and pieces of research undertaken--all to no avail. Litigation is a slow way to resolve an issue. We are patient. The case remains active; the next court date is February 5th. #SaveMain
Did you know...
(From our friend Jeff Blei):
There is hope for smart development in Glen Ellyn’s historic downtown.
Our sister village Riverside did it; Glen Ellyn can, too. Riverside is celebrating the sixth anniversary of a mixed use downtown development that balances village history with contemporary needs. The developer and the Riverside Plan Commission stayed within code and the architectural style that was originally conceived by planners Frederick Law Olmsted, Calvert Vaux and Frank Lloyd Wright. Riverside took pride in accomplishing this endeavor and Glen Ellyn can as well.
Follow this link for a discussion of Riverside’s planning values:
Please consider a donation to our legal fund. https://www.gofundme.com/f/savemain
That Millennium Park, including the Millennium "Clock" and donor wall fronting the Main Street parking lot, was dedicated in 2000? It was originally conceived to be centered by an operating clock and plantings, with estimated cost to Village taxpayers at $500,000. Problems with soil contamination from the gas station located there earlier were discovered during the excavation and halted construction until the EPA approved soil removal. Follow up testing required more soil removal as the contamination had drifted south toward the Giesche building. Though the exact cost to taxpayers was never revealed, it was estimated to be $400,000 for the first remediation, and $350,000 for the second. The President of the Chamber of Commerce sought donations for the brick wall only. Each full plaque donor paid $3000, with 1/2 plaque donors paying $1500: 18 individuals, businesses, and organizations donated plaques. After lengthy construction and multiple failures to get the clock to operate accurately, the Village gave up, removed the hands, and it became a giant planter. The cost of the repairs was never revealed. All told, construction and remediation costs plus the estimated cost of the various repairs totaled about $1,500,000. Wall donors contributed about $50,000.
Though the clock has not been operational in years, and critical parking spaces were sacrificed for its construction, the site has become a scarce public gathering spot in our downtown. Save Main has long argued for the importance of planning for public space.
What will happen to the Millennium Clock and the donor wall if Apex 400 is constructed? Note that there are also brick pavers which were purchased at between $100 to $250 per brick depending on size. How will these be handled?
Repeated attempts to get answers from the Village have been unsuccessful. Will the clock and wall be demolished? Moved and reconstructed? If so, where? Who will pay for the move and reconstruction? There is no information in any documents requiring the developer to move the clock and pay for relocation/reconstruction. Were the original donors consulted about the fate of the Millennium Clock, the donor wall, and the brick pavers? Was any of this considered by the Village prior to and/or during the negotiations with the developer?
Please consider a year end donation to our legal fund. https://www.gofundme.com/f/savemain
Did you know...
...where this truck will park if the Apex 400 development is given the green light to proceed?
The developer was given a variance for lot coverage to allow the Apex building to be zero lot line: in other words, built on 100% lot coverage, with much deeper sidewalks than are standard in our downtown. This means that sidewalks will be expanded into where parking spaces are now. The result is that a delivery truck like the one pictured here will need to park either in the middle of Main Street or block a side street to offload its goods for south Main Street businesses. Neither option is acceptable.
In addition, nearby residents have stated that many trucks currently arrive well before they're legally allowed to, which is 7:00 a.m., in order to make deliveries before that area gets busy. Commuters who leave their homes at 5:30 a.m. often find at least one, possibly two or three, delivery trucks near the corner of Hillside and Main. According to one neighbor: "There are few things more annoying at 5:30 a.m. than to hear a delivery truck drop - free falling - it's back ramp, and roll up its trailer door, all with the heavy diesel engine idling without pause. Same thing on the one-off business waste pick up. They too are often picking up before 6:00 am, with their annoying hydraulics piercing what would otherwise be a peaceful, quiet morning."
This situation will only worsen with the impact of a development that is massively out of scale for this location. Did the Village consider the impact on business and residential neighbors before approving Apex 400?
You can help us fund our fight to stop Apex 400 and save our downtown and the surrounding neighborhoods.
Did you know...
That the ENTIRE Main Street parking lot will be CLOSED on Monday, December 9th and Tuesday, December 10th?
According to the most recent Village newsletter:
"The Main Street Lot and South Main Lot, highlighted in the map below, will be closed starting at 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, December 8 and will not be fully reopened until mid-day on Tuesday, December 10. This closure is necessary for the completion of a site investigation including ground penetrating radar, soil borings and installation of ground monitoring wells. The work will be completed on Monday, December 9 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Tuesday, December 10 from 8 a.m. to noon. Advance notice will be posted within the parking lots pertaining to the closure."
Many residents have questions:
1. What is the REASON for "a site investigation including ground penetrating radar, soil borings and installation of ground monitoring wells"?
2. What is the explanation of the TIMING of the "site investigation including ground penetrating radar, soil borings and installation of ground monitoring wells" during one of the busiest and most critical times of the year for our downtown businesses?
3. Further, should "a site investigation including ground penetrating radar, soil borings and installation of ground monitoring wells" have been performed BEFORE entering into a legal agreement to develop the Giesche site and Main Street parking lot? Many of us have long been aware of potential contamination of that site.
4. Who is PAYING for the "site investigation including ground penetrating radar, soil borings and installation of ground monitoring wells"?
5. Who is LIABLE for the ramifications of the findings of "a site investigation including ground penetrating radar, soil borings and installation of ground monitoring wells"? The Village? The developer?
6. Who will answer our questions?
Please help us fund our fight for transparent government and smart, responsible development.
That since July we have lost 20 parking places in the Main Street lot due to the demolition of the Giesche building? Take a look at the aerial view of the lot and the two red boxes marked "A" and "B".
A Used to contain 12 spaces painted straight-in; there are now 6 spaces painted at angles (loss of 6 spaces)
B Used to contain 14 spaces painted straight-in; now a larger buffer from the demolition site is required. 7 spaces are painted as parallel, but they are still not available (loss of 14 spaces)
***The result is a total loss of 20 parking spaces in the Main Street lot during one of the busiest and arguably most critical shopping and dining periods for our downtown businesses.
The restriping of the parking spaces on both the north and south sides of the driving lane closest to Giesche was necessitated by the danger of the excavation site and the need to move parking further away from it. This narrowed the driving lane and thus required redesigning the spaces from "straight in" to "angled".
Save Main continues to question the wisdom of the Village allowing the demolition of the Giesche building given an active lawsuit. That action has left us with a dangerous demolition site. Such a site would never be allowed on residential property. It has also left us with an eyesore at the southern gateway to our historic downtown. And it has deprived us of 20 parking spaces so far. We have seen no public explanation of this situation from the Village staff, the Village President, or the Village Board.
Rather than solving the parking problem in our downtown, the Village has exacerbated it. We can do so much better.
If you'd like to support our fight for responsible development, please consider a donation to our legal efforts.
Did you know...
The traffic studies for the Apex 400 development were done in July and August 2018, during an atypical period when D41 schools were not yet in session. As a result, the study did not capture the school bus traffic that regularly runs through the area on a daily basis, nor the return of many residents from summer vacations. With additional cars belonging to Apex 400 renters and their visitors using Hillside to enter/exit the building and cars entering/exiting onto Glenwood from the parking garage, traffic will increase substantially--an added danger in a school zone. In addition, the traffic study was done without consideration of Avere—which will add to the load on Prospect, further backing things up on Hillside and through downtown. Save Main believes the Village needs to be more strategic in its approach to traffic and parking and prepare for proposed development. We support smart, managed growth.
If you agree, please help us fund the fight:
Did you know...
We often state that we have world-class experts in our Village, and many of them have offered their expertise to Save Main's cause in hopes of promoting smart, responsible development. We want to take a moment and toot the horn of one of our Save Mainers, Pam Albrecht. Pam's work with Belgravia Group in the City of Chicago was recently recognized by their peers as "Developer of the Year". Congratulations to Pam and her coworkers for this well-deserved accolade!! This is the kind of professionalism that informs the positions we take as Save Main.
If you'd like to join our movement and help us fund the fight, you can do so here:
Did you know...
"Save Main" has supporters all over the country. Here is a comment we recently received from one of them, who has spent over 33 years in real estate development, urban planning, economic development, and community development. He has three masters degrees, one of which is in urban design, and another in city planning. He now runs one of the country's first "social impact real estate" development companies, in Denver, Colorado. He writes:
"Keep up the good work of promoting the correct kind of economic development that will preserve the urban fabric of downtown Glen Ellyn while allowing financial viability of the commercial district. If the character of downtown is lost, then its very branding as a village and as a downtown commercial/retail corridor also will be lost. There are many place-based strategies and smart growth avenues that could be applied in GE to ensure long-term economic viability without allowing the likes of mammoth developments that fail to recognize and respect their surrounding massing scale and urban design.
I was recently back in GE for my GBW high school reunion in Sept. I purposely spent time downtown and on Main Street to study the scale, character, and design of existing buildings in the vicinity of the proposed Apex 400 development. As an urban planner, economic developer, and real estate developer, I again affirm the view that this project should never been approved nor allowed height variances. Not only is the proposed building out of scale with the existing surroundings, but as designed it will create more parking problems than it solves, and its height will cause such a shadow over that section of Main Street during most of the day for winter months that it will not allow ice and snow to melt on the street and sidewalks from solar exposure.
This project should be defeated, and the developer should withdraw the project in its present form. Until that happens, keep up the SAVE MAIN fight, and help GE to grow properly and responsively. Thank you!"
If you agree, and you'd like to help us fund our legal efforts, please donate here: https://www.gofundme.com/f/SAVEMAIN
Demolition of the Giesche building prior to the court ruling on all the counts and possible appeals in the pending lawsuit has left:
--The Main Street parking lot down 14 parking spaces for almost 4 months (beginning July 10th): first, due to construction; now due to fears that the parking lot may collapse
--A huge hole in the ground with the Giesche building basement floor and walls still standing
--A less stable basement wall; the wall adjacent to the Main Street parking lot has metal rods/braces in place to address this
--Residents waiting for an engineer to tell the Village that it is safe to return the parking spaces near the braced wall.
--A large basin area that collects standing water with each storm. Recently, this water has frozen.
--An eyesore at the gateway to our town
--The potential for fewer parking spaces to be returned as a larger perimeter around the demo site/braced wall is needed.
Please help us fund the fight:
Did you know...
Avere, the development going in at the intersection of Prospect and Duane, while disruptive to its immediate residential neighbors, is an example of smarter, more measured growth brought to Glen Ellyn:
Private land for private use
Its scale is comparable to the large institutional building that it sits across from (the library).
It uses ground floor setbacks and parkway green space to soften the sense of the building to the pedestrian.
It does not require a huge height variance, and it does not require a lot coverage variance.
Help Fund the Fight: https://www.gofundme.com/
Did you know...
It can be done. Other towns have successfully achieved smaller scale mixed use developments which are economically viable by partnering with developers on more than one development project at a time. Here is a great example from Mount Prospect: The Shops and Lofts in Mount Prospect.
Apex 400 will be 5 stories tall, 2 stories taller than our current comprehensive plan and other planning documents recommend. It will sit at the highest point of our downtown, on our Main Street, and directly abut our downtown Historic District.
We can do better. Please help Fund the Fight: https://www.gofundme.com/
Did you know...
The question is not *whether* we should be looking to grow and develop, but rather *how* we do this in a way that enhances the distinct character of our Village. Smart towns all over the world are addressing these challenges; the best of these towns take the time to engage the public in a meaningful way, create a strong vision for the future, and consider how to maintain a distinct and compelling identity. What is our shared vision for the future?
"A successful town or city has a clear sense of direction and a widely shared vision. There is genuine engagement with communities and leadership at many levels. Creative ideas are encouraged and freely exchanged between people and government.
In a successful town or city, local governance is effective, efficient and confident. Leaders are prepared to take risks to deliver the best outcomes, but priorities and trade-offs are made explicit, and the benefits and costs of decisions are understood. Decision-makers think holistically and creatively, and they learn from mistakes. They work in partnership..."
Did you know...
Apex 400 is designed to be 323.5 feet long, extending from the SW corner of Main/Hillside to the north end at Santa Fe. It incorporates the former Giesche property as well as the public parking lot and Millennium Clock. As such, it is roughly equivalent to a football field in length.
Save Main supports smart, responsible, and context appropriate development. You can help fund the fight at https://GoFundMe.com/